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Evil Limps Home

At the end of August, Fort Lauderdale-based Stuck on Evil (featuring Marilyn Manson's original guitarist, Scott M. Putesky, plus former Basketcase vocalist John Cain Reilly, ex-Mindflower bassist Martin Davis, and drummer Jim "Smoothy" McDonald) bid adieu and set out to conquer the philistines across our great land. But alas, the band's planned seven-week jaunt quickly turned sour for the gruesome foursome, who limped back home in mid-September with Reilly's arm in a cast, Davis AWOL, and the name Stuck on Evil shelved for good.

Two nights after the events of September 11, our heroes (hanging out in upstate New York) decided to spend a quiet evening fishing, and in Putesky's words, "rather than go around this fence, like others might, [Reilly] decided to jump right over." In doing so, the singer managed to bust a bone in his forearm, which sounds like it smarted a bit.

"It did," Reilly continues, "but I was distracted by the gash in the other hand that was bleeding profusely, requiring several stitches." Worse, the big guy didn't even have a buzz on to help counteract the pain. "I was sober," he laments. "If I was drunk, I could have rolled with it!"

Not only that but Davis, already freaked out by current events, saw Reilly's accident (and refusal to undergo surgery) as further bad omen and bolted for a girlfriend's digs in Maryland. Soon after, Putesky and Reilly started to question the wisdom of a handle like Stuck on Evil in view of recent occurrences.

"It's not quite the name's fault, but things weren't going right," informs Putesky. "And nobody got the joke side of the name -- I think people thought we'd sound like the Melvins or come out and look like Motörhead. And it's Stuck on Evil -- it's a joke! And then nobody got the joke, and therefore it became a silly name, and all of a sudden having evil in your name wasn't so funny."

"With the whole nation up in arms about evildoers, it just wasn't a good name to be," agrees Reilly. "We felt silly about it when people would say, "You guys aren't evil. You guys are really nice.' But that's what makes it funny! People just didn't get it."

Bandwidth can certainly vouch for the boys' sunny dispositions. In particular, Reilly (who bears a remarkable resemblance to the bunny rabbit Thumper of Bambi fame) is rarely able to hold a conversation without becoming all misty-eyed over the bountiful cornucopia life has to offer.

So, they figure, reverting to Putesky's original post-Manson nom de plume of Three Ton Gate will certainly quash any lingering spark of controversy. The remaining erstwhile evildoers will keep active. Reilly is busy ignoring doctor's advice regarding his crushed carpal: "I'm just gonna let it heal all crooked," he laughs, while Putesky will audition a new bassist and is currently making the messy new name change official in cyberspace.

By now, it should be apparent to anyone with functioning ears that local radio's finest moments, bar none, are contained in those dastardly clever public service announcements heard on WKPX-FM (88.5) during the daytime. Well, maybe not exactly clever, but it's at least obvious that the staff members find completing this required part of their jobs an opportunity to cut up, which can make driving around this radio wasteland almost bearable. Admittedly, some make for torturous entertainment: A recent edition about the perils of going to the beach sans sunscreen sounds like the work of a remedial reading class for sixth-grade Xanax addicts, and most of the pre-recorded spots elicit as many groans as grins, but it's hard to grow tired of the PSA that urges citizens to keep eating their greens. I'll wait all day sometimes just to hear the word "nutritiousousness" so I can roll it around my mind and across my tongue like a deliciously sour Jawbreaker. Some beautiful work, kids.

On Wednesday, November 21, electronica boy-wonder Michael Paradinas will make an appearance at the Polish-American Hall in Coral Gables. Paradinas, who has released a series of audacious albums under the name µ-Ziq, will be among the most interesting of the laptop-toting techno tribalists who've made it to these parts of late. His blippity, frenetic work is almost impossible to define, as its point of view is so oblique; one can't discern, for instance, whether he's satirizing drum 'n' bass, ambient electronica, and jazz-funk or reverently noting their influence. Some of the more challenging practitioners within this realm, like Aphex Twin or Squarepusher, have nothing on Paradinas in terms of making blistering noise -- some of his early work is abrasive enough to put even Throbbing Gristle in the shade. His music has become more tempered and relaxed, though never predictable. µ-Ziq's most recent album, 1999's Royal Astronomy, is certainly less crazy than his early works, like 1995's mind-expanding In Pine Effect or his underrated dismantling of the Auteurs' Now I'm a Cowboy album. Paradinas reportedly loathed the pop band's simpering style, so the resultant remix disc, µ-Ziq vs. the Auteurs, is disrespectful in the extreme, rendering the original template unrecognizable. It's well worth seeking out, and if you compare the Cowboy album to its deconstructed counterpart, it underscores how adept a sampler Paradinas is -- as well as proving the legitimacy of sampling and warping source material as an art unto itself.

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Jeff Stratton
Contact: Jeff Stratton

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